KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (click on names for detailed bios)

Praful Patel - Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises  (formerly MInister of State for Civil Aviation)

Sam Pitroda - Advisor to Prime Minister of India (Information Infrastructure & Innovation) 

Shikha Sharma - Managing Director & CEO, Axis Bank

 

PANEL 1 - The Role of Media & Entertainment in Modern India

Moderator: Prof. Sree Sreenivasan - Dean of Students Affairs, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University

Panelists:

Shivnath Thukral - Group President, Corporate Branding and Strategic Initiatives, Essar Group

Aparisim Ghosh - Deputy International Editor, TIME Magazine 

S. Mitra Kalita - Senior Writer (Housing), Wall Street Journal 

Afsar Zaidi- CEO, Carving Dreams (One of India's leading talent management agencies);

 

PANEL 2 - Succeeding in India as a Woman

Moderator: Ketki Parikh - Founder, Vachikam

Panelists:

Shikha Sharma - Managing Director & CEO, Axis Bank

Angela Chitkara - Founder & CEO, US-India Corridor

S. Mitra Kalita - Senior Writer (Housing), Wall Street Journal 

Aroon Shivdasani - Executive Director & Founding Member, Indo-American Arts Council

 

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Praful Patel

Praful Patel

Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (formerly Minister of State for Civil Aviation) Praful Patel, currently in his second term in the Union Government, has single-handedly spearheaded reforms in the Indian aviation sector. Development of the Delhi and Mumbai airports under Public Private Partnership model, liberal policies on setting up new airports, raising the FDI cap in airlines, merger of Air India with Indian Airlines and fleet augmentation for the national carriers - Minister Praful Patel has been the key architect of change in the Indian 'open skies'.

Born in 1957 in Calcutta, Mr Patel graduated from the University of Bombay, and was elected to the office of President -- Municipal Council of Gondia (Maharashtra), early on in his distinguished career. Patel was first elected as a member of the Lok Sabha in 1991 at the age of 34. He is currently a member of the 15th Lok Sabha. He is also a very successful industrialist.

 

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Sam Pitroda

Mr. Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent 44 years in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments. Credited with having laid the foundation for and ushered India’s technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Mr. Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide. During his tenure as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s Mr. Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization Dairy and oil seeds. He was also the founder and first chairman of India’s Telecom Commission.

Mr. Pitroda was Chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission (2005-2009), an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, set up to provide a blueprint of reform of the knowledge related institutions and infrastructure in the country. The Commission has offered a series of recommendations on various aspects of the knowledge paradigm to help India meet the challenges of the 21st century.

He is currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations. He holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published and lectured widely in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

 

Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma

Shikha Sharma is the Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank since 2009. Axis Bank is amongst the three major private sector banks which commenced business in 1994 as a consequence of the liberalization and reform of the financial sector.

She was the Managing Director & founder CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company.  The company is a joint venture between ICICI Bank, India’s leading financial services company, and Prudential plc, one of UK’s largest insurers.  ICICI Prudential Life was amongst the first private sector companies in India to be awarded a life license in December 2000, and was India’s leading private life insurer. 

She has done her B.A. (Hons.) in Economics, and completed her Masters of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1980.  She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Software Technology, from the National Centre for Software Technology, Mumbai. 

 

 

 

PANEL 1 - The Role of Media & Entertainment in Modern India

Moderator

Sree SrinivasanProfessor Sree Sreenivasan

SREE SREENIVASAN (@sree) is a tech evangelist and skeptic (he can explain how he's both) specializing in explaining technology to non-techies. He is a professor and dean of students affairs at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches in the digital media program, including media entrepreneurship. A former TV technology reporter on WABC and WNBC and frequent guest on various TV shows, he is now a contributing editor at DNAinfo.com, a Manhattan-news startup he helped launch in 2009 with Joe Ricketts (the founder of Ameritrade and whose family just bought the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field). He is co-founder of SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association, a group of 1,000+ members across the U.S.
In 2009, he was named one of AdAge's 25 media people to follow on Twitter and in 2010 was named one of 20 journalists to follow by the Society of Professional Journalists and one of the 35 most influential people in social media by Poynter.org. You can find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sree and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/sreetips and on the Web at http://sree.net/

 

Panelists

Shivnath Thukral

Shivnath Thukral is the Group President, Corporate Branding & Strategic Initiatives at the Essar Group and he is responsible for all strategic image-building initiatives undertaken by this $15 bn group as part of its plans to globalize and expand. Shivnath is the key link for the group to put together a strategy that reaches out to key investors, stake holders and the public with ideal positioning for the group and its brand. Shivnath works directly with the promoters & CEOs of the Essar group to put together a marketing strategy that portrays the group’s ethos to the appropriate target audience. 

Shivnath Thukral is a veteran journalist who spent 14 years in India’s premier media house NDTV. In his last role, Shivnath was the Group Business Editor & Advisor Strategy with NDTV. In his tenure at NDTV, Shivnath also set up its business channel NDTV Profit which was quick to gain market share against the existing competition. Shivnath is a well known name and face to the country's CEO community and policy makers, he also carries the cutting edge advantage of rich experience in analyzing Indian businesses, financial markets and economic affairs. 

Shivnath was also the Managing Editor of NDTV Profit and one of the most trusted faces of business journalism. Shivnath has 14 years of experience in television as a presenter, journalist and a moderator. As a moderator, Shivnath has built a reputation of engaging India’s top CEOs and politicians on the same platform with equal elegance. He continues to contribute columns to leading dailies and magazines as well as hosts high profile panel discussions with leading policy makers, corporate names and other personalities. Shivnath has hosted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Infosys campus for an interactive discussion with celebrities from the field of sports, cinema and business. 

Shivnath’s prolific career as a journalist spans conversations with the likes of Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, NR Narayanamurthy, Nandan Nilekani, Kumarmanglam Birla, Anand Mahindra, LN & Aditya Mittal, Christine Lagarde, Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya, P. Chidambaram, Arun Sarin, KV Kamath, Praful Patel, Jean Claude Trichet of ECB and Dr YV Reddy, former governor of RBI.

 

Aparisim Ghosh

Aparisim Ghosh

Aparisim “Bobby” Ghosh is TIME Magazine’s Deputy International Editor and senior writer on foreign affairs, national security and terrorism.

Ghosh, 43, is an award-winning war correspondent, having covered conflicts in Baghdad, Palestine-Israel and Kashmir. He has also written extensively about Afghanistan, Pakistan, India -- and more generally about foreign policy issues.

His most recent cover story for TIME was on Islamophobia in the US. Before taking up his new assignment, Ghosh was TIME’s World Editor — the only non-American to hold that position in TIME’s history. His previous postings have included a 5-year stint in Baghdad, 2 years in London and 7 years in Hong Kong. His assignments have taken him to much of the Middle East and Asia.

 

S. Mitra Kalita

S. Mitra Kalita

S. Mitra Kalita is an award-winning journalist and author. She is a senior writer covering housing at The Wall Street Journal, but most recently helped launch the Greater New York section as a senior editor. Her second book, "My Two Indias: A Journey to the Ends of Opportunity" has just been released by Harper Collins India. Her highly acclaimed "Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage From India to America" (Rutgers University Press, Penguin India) dissected how immigrants have transformed suburbia. She has worked as a reporter at the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press and spent two years as an editor and columnist at Mint, a business newspaper in New Delhi she helped found. She previously served as The Wall Street Journal's deputy global economics editor, and both edited and reported for an award-winning series on the great recession. She is a past president of the South Asian Journalist Association, and is married to artist Nitin Mukul. They have a 6-year-old daughter, Naya, and live in Jackson Heights, Queens.

 

Afsar Zaidi

Afsar Zaidi

Afsar Zaidi, is the founder and CEO of Carving Dreams – an entertainment company, based out of Mumbai, India.  Afsar set up Carving Dreams five years back as a talent agency managing artistes from the Indian entertainment industry (also referred to as “Bollywood”).  A first generation entrepreneur, Afsar has grown Carving Dreams into India’s leading talent agency and diversified the Group into Live Events and Content Production (including feature films). 

Carving Dreams manages some of Bollywood’s leading artistes and has successfully expanded its range of representation services from traditional areas such as brand endorsements, movies and live appearances to brand licensing, celebrity content over new media platforms (through a strategic tie up with one of India's largest digital companies) and celebrity business partnerships.

Over the last three years, Afsar has led Carving Dreams to also establish a firm presence in the live events industry in India focusing on film, music, fashion and sport, in addition to pioneering sports hospitality services, which started with the Indian Premier League (‘IPL’). 

As Carving Dreams enters its next phase of growth, Afsar’s key role is to identify and tie up new talent from the entertainment industry, set up ownership of innovative entertainment properties and consolidate the Carving Dreams  Group’s different businesses and teams.  

Afsar has prior extensive experience in Sales and Marketing and Business Development.  He has also been involved in setting up divisions of an IT Sales Company in Bangalore and Dubai.  Afsar’s interests span across politics, sports, literary work,  films, people development, entrepreneurship.  One of Afsar’s early inspirations and references for Carving Dreams has been the title role essayed by Tom Cruise in the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’.   

 

 

PANEL 2 - Succeeding in India as a Woman

Moderator: Ketki Parikh

Ketki Parikh is an entrepreneur who established Vachikam in 1995 with the goal of sharing her experiences at theatre in India with her friends and the greater Indian community in America. While her first passion was theatre, she also had notable experiences in radio, television, dance, and poetry. During the past decade, Vachikam has met this goal and gone beyond to provide many enriching experiences for audiences across the United States and Canada. By promoting performances of the highest quality, Vachikam has benefited from the loyalty of audiences, artists, and local promoters alike.

Ketki is also a strong and active supporter of the Indian community. She serves as a board member of Apna Ghar, a domestic violence shelter in Chicago serving primarily Asian women and children . She also donates her expertise and time to plan fundraising events for other non-profit organizations, most notably India Development Service.

 

PanelistsShikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma

Shikha Sharma is the Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank since 2009. Axis Bank is amongst the three major private sector banks which commenced business in 1994 as a consequence of the liberalization and reform of the financial sector.

She was the Managing Director & founder CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company.  The company is a joint venture between ICICI Bank, India’s leading financial services company, and Prudential plc, one of UK’s largest insurers.  ICICI Prudential Life was amongst the first private sector companies in India to be awarded a life license in December 2000, and was India’s leading private life insurer. 

She has done her B.A. (Hons.) in Economics, and completed her Masters of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1980.  She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Software Technology, from the National Centre for Software Technology, Mumbai. 

 

Angela Chitkara

Angela Chitkara

Angela Chitkara is Founder & CEO of US-India Corridor, a strategic consultancy firm focusing on international companies with India exposure. She has trained and worked as a television journalist for more than a decade in the United States, London, South Africa, Singapore, and India, serving in various roles from News Associate to International News Editor.

Angela anchored and reported on the global markets for CNBC TV18 in India. She led daily editorial meetings and set up the first multilingual local and international assignment desks for CNBC in India. This was critical in enabling bureaus around the world to provide viewers with a more current and accurate story of an emerging India and its role in the global economy.

Ms. Chitkara has served as a political researcher to the late Louis Rukeyser during the 2000 US Presidential Election cycle and co-produced the 2004 US Presidential Elections from Singapore for CNBC Asia. She produced the first LIVE hit on the Tsunami for the NBC network from India in 2004. In 2006, she produced the Mumbai blasts coverage for the NBC network globally. Angela is a regular commentator on issues relating to the US India space. Angela holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Masters in International Journalism from City University in London, UK, and a BA in Communications, Journalism from Seton Hall University. She volunteers with Apne Aap, an NGO for women worldwide, recently recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for its initiative to end global sex trafficking.


S. Mitra KalitaS. Mitra Kalita

S. Mitra Kalita is an award-winning journalist and author. She is a senior writer covering housing at The Wall Street Journal, but most recently helped launch the Greater New York section as a senior editor. Her second book, "My Two Indias: A Journey to the Ends of Opportunity" has just been released by Harper Collins India. Her highly acclaimed "Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage From India to America" (Rutgers University Press, Penguin India) dissected how immigrants have transformed suburbia. She has worked as a reporter at the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press and spent two years as an editor and columnist at Mint, a business newspaper in New Delhi she helped found. She previously served as The Wall Street Journal's deputy global economics editor, and both edited and reported for an award-winning series on the great recession. She is a past president of the South Asian Journalist Association, and is married to artist Nitin Mukul. They have a 6-year-old daughter, Naya, and live in Jackson Heights, Queens.

 

Aroon Shivdasani

Aroon Shivdasani

Executive Director and founding member of the Indo-American Arts Council, Aroon is passionate about its mission to build an awareness of Indian artists and artistic disciplines(performing, visual, literary and folk arts in North America). She is equally passionate about nurturing and promoting emerging artists in all the disciplines) from the Indian subcontinent.
A Masters Degree in English literature and drama, Aroon has worked in marketing, advertising, media research, taught both school and college, run a theatre company in Canada, been a docent at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, been Editor of the Junior League Newsletter, acted, danced, painted, thrown pots, worked in ceramics and stained glass. She left her position as Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing & English literature as well as VP of her husband's marketing company, to take on her current position in 1998.


Immersed in the arts, Aroon conceived and produced the first Festival of Indian Theatre in North America, annual Playwrights Festivals in conjunction with the Lark Theatre, several film premiers, a film festival of New Films from India at MOMA and the annual MIAAC Film Festival of Independent & diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent, an annual Erasing Borders Visual Art Exhibition, an Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance as well as myriad fascinating theatre, film, dance, music, literary and fine arts events under the auspices of The Indo-American Arts Council.


Equally passionate about humanity, Aroon has always supported and worked for social causes through the arts: raising money and awareness for FREA India (front for rapid economic advancement of India), The Spastics Society, SAKHI(prevention of domestic violence), CRY (child relief and you), Project India (the street children of Bombay), victims of the Maharashtra and Gujarat earthquakes, prevention of communal violence in Gujarat, the Tsunami and several more. Aroon was an active participant in the raising of money and final placement of a Jagdish Bhagwati Chair for Indian Politics & Economy at Columbia University.

 

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